The year was 2005; the tournament was organized in Mwanza, Tanzania. There came SC Villa, Uganda’s representative in the championship after winning the 2004 league title. The blues had last won the regional title in 2003 under Serbian coach Mitcho Sredojevich at the edition held in Kampala. That was their second regional championship in history after winning their maiden in 1987 also in Kampala thanks to Sula Kato’s solitary strike against El Merrickh.
Under Sam Timbe, the Jogoos won a third title un beaten and without conceding a goal
away from home and this is how they did it. Let’s get started. SC Villa was drawn in group A that had Rwanda’s Rayon Sport FC, Tanzania’s Simba SC, Atletico FC of Burundi and Somalia’s Elman FC.
23rd/04/2005 – SC Villa 1-0 Simba SC. Sam Timbe’s side began their journey to the championship with a 1-0 win of Tanzania’s Simba SC. Kenyan import Bernard Mwalala’s 19th minute strike was enough to lift Villa. The result was reminiscent of the 2003 final in which another foreign import in Tanzania’s Tendwa Vicent struck for Villa to beat Simba SC at Namboole.
25th/04/2005 – SC Villa 5-0 Elman FC. The Jogoos went rampant in their second game of group A hitting Somalian champions Elman for dead. Benard Mwalala was on a hat trick scoring in the 11th, 23rd and 76 minutes while Robert Ssentongo and Samadu Mutumba added the two goals. 29th/04/2005 – SC Villa 0-0 Rayon Sport. The result ended Villa’s perfect record but the positive from the game was the clean sheet thanks to Denis Onyango between the posts and the rear guard under the command of then skipper Andrew Mwesigwa.
01/05/2005 – Atletico FC 0-2 SC Villa. It was the club’s last group game and a win ensured that Sam Timbe’s side finished as group A leaders on 10 points and 8 goals against none. Midfielder Emma Balyejusa and diminutive striker Robert Ssentongo netted for the Uganda side. Finishing top in Group A meant SC Villa was to face second placed Mtibwa Sugar in Group B behind APR FC from Rwanda. Other sides in that group were Al Hilal from Sudan, Adulis of Eriteria and Djibouti’s Total FC.
Semifinal: 04th/05/2005 – SC Villa 1-0 Mtibwa Sugar. The match winning goal was a beautiful header from striker Ceaser Ssempijja after an hour of play. The strongly built forward put the ball home following Dan Wagaluka’s perfect cross from the right to the jubilation of the blues’ fans that had travelled all the way from Kampala. A day later, Rwanda’s derby between APR FC and Rayon sport ended in the former’s victory winning 4-3 on spot kicks after 120 minutes of 1-1 draw. Manfred Kizito (brother to Nestroy Kizito) netted for APR FC after 44 minutes before Abubaker Tabula’s 84th minute own goal put the game level.
Finals: 08th/05/2005 – SC Villa 3-0 APR FC. It was more of Ugandan affair as the Rwandan side had the likes of Alimansi Kadogo, Abubaker Tabula, Phillip Ssozi plus Manfred Kizito and James Kayimba. Amazingly, they had all had stints at Villa Park. On paper, the Kagame bankrolled side was stronger than SC Villa but the tides turned on D-day with Sam Timbe’s side comfortably thrashing APR FC 3-0 in the finals. Robert Ssentongo opened the scoring in the 44th minute before Bernard Mwalala’s brace (52 and 90th minute) completed the rout. In the end, it was SC Villa being deservingly declared champions. The blues won everything from the title, golden boot (Mwalala 6 goals), golden gloves (Denis Onyango), best defender (Andrew Mwesigwa) and Coach of the tournament in Sam Timbe. It was the first time a side had won the regional bragging rights without conceding and that record still stands.
SC VILLA line up Vs APR FC: Denis Onyango (GK), Simeone Masaba, Godfrey Katerega, Samad Mutumba, Andrew Mwesigwa, Emma Balyejusa, Steven Nsereko, Morley Byekwaso (Hakim Magumba), Bernard Mwalala, Robert Ssentogo (Ceaser Ssempijja) and Dan Wagaluka.
COACH: Sam Timbe.
APR FC line up Vs Villa. Ndiziye Aume, Didier Bizimana, James Kayimba, Titus Mulama, Loman Ahore (Phillip Ssozi), Hamis Yusuf, Elias Ntaganda, Bobo Bola, George Waweru (Manfred Kizito), Alimansi Kadogo (Abdu Sibomana).
Coach: Jacob Ghost Mulee